Here is another blast from the past series I have been meaning to write up after watching, even if it has been a few months since I’ve watched it, most of the thoughts here are taken from my forum post so they are still an accurate depiction of my feelings since then but I must warn you that these thoughts are more “rants from a fanboy” than an unbiased overall series review ^^.
(Plus there will be spoilers ahead, obviously).
I swear he forgot to add “-de gozaru” in there, somewhere
To start things off here is my original reaction from when I finished the last episode:
Well what can I say…when it comes to setting up scenes where you become overwhelmed by emotions when the heros die, then this is one of those series that succeed especially coming out to the final episodes.
I don’t know what clicked for me but something certainly did as I feel really emotional, like someone took a hammer to my heart after just watching the final episode. This isn’t a hammer end, not for the samurais anyway…bitter-sweet would be the best way to describe this feeling. Ultimately they did win the war but lost so much along the way.
The mecha designs for this series actually wern’t that bad…too bad that they all sucked at fighting
The storytelling was just captivating in my eyes. I am quite a fan of traveling, action themes so that is usually a plus to get me raving about series like this but in all honestly this series is what I call good. It followed quite a linear plot with the end clearly in sight yet the enjoyment (and tears) along the way to the end was just fantastic.
Whilst I feel that some characters were underdeveloped (such as Heihachi and Kyuzo) I guess they did serve their purpose of being warriors. It is strange that it isn’t that bothersome for them to be underdeveloped but it would have been nice to have known more though at the same time it does bring about a sense of mysteriousness.
Useless boya >.>
Though the one who ultimately went through the biggest change has to be Katsushiro. He was probably the weakest to start off with but by the end he was ruthless. Besides gaining that insane power-up through killing people I think the most important thing here is that he gained “the smell of battle”. He has come a long way since the series started but even at the end I question how sane he really is. It was unusual to see a character still left with a crazed look in their eyes right up to the final episode but the epilogue seems to show that he has matured enough, Kambei giving him his sword was a huge sign of respect (though I am worried that Katsushiro has turned into some kind of war junkie). Well that’s where imagination comes in.
I was kinda disappointed that the potential romances didn’t go as far as I had hoped but perhaps that this is a good thing as it is primary an action series. Though it was interesting to see the underlying developments of Kirara’s character.
Sorry…I just have to share the love
Like Katsushiro, she was also quite naive and the ending was also somewhat bitter-sweet for her. Thoughout the series even I was having trouble figuring out who she was looking at as she never gave any hints. But to see it being revealed to be Kambei isn’t surprising at all. Though she was shot down quite badly.
Formally a farmer who is turned into a robot…”meh” beats robocop
Kambei’s character is a walking tragic from what I can see. I can certainly feel how much he would have liked to die in battle yet it doesn’t happen. He must have the devils luck. But despite this, the glimpse into his heart when he rejected Kirara was interesting. I don’t have much to say other than that his heart has died long ago…he didn’t agree to the job to save the farmers but rather sought for his own demise. It’s tough when you have have skill to survive.
The hand is quicker than the eye…
Shichiroji being his friend from the old wars also know this much but he has choosen to live a happier life (good for him ^^).
As I say though, the story for this series played out pretty nicely. With the first battle gone I was thinking whether this series was moving too fast at first. but then as more events came I realised that the death of Gorobei wasn’t enough. Even though he wasn’t my favorite samurai he was mourned for. Being the first person to die came as a shock but I expected it as much. You can’t have a war without some of the main characters dropping like flies.
Ukyo is a crazy, lying, thieving, murdering bastard. That is all.
Kyuzooooo!! You sexy beast ;____;
Out of all the deaths though I’d say that Kyuzo was the most unfortunate. He died literally from friendly fire (and for that Katsushiro drops down few ranks from my list >.>). But yea, he is another lost soul. I felt great sorrow when he died in Kambei’s arms. It was a horribly sad experience. The guy was all mysterious and had no reason to live other than for a good fight with Kambei, not to mention being super cool I jsut found that his death was uncalled for the way it happened.
But the one who made me grief the Most has to be Kikuchiyo. Man I just love his straight forward character. It was great to know that such a character even exists and not being annoying like the usual of his type. To see him end up being battered by the bastard prince then on pure will power, save the village whilst sacrificing himself was just amazing…and emotional. You have to feel like Komachi, even I had watery eyes. Some people who you don’t expect to die, Kikuchiyo was somewhat like superman to the viewers. He never gives up and he never falls…so when he does fall it comes with great sadness. *Manly tears!* in a way he was like Kamina to me.
The guy who always puts a smile on your face
Heihachi also deserves a mention for being another who died. His great heroic act was more than enough to redeem his betrayal in the past. Another great man not forgotten (and will forever be in the rice).
Kambei’s left and right hand man
So overall, I really enjoyed this series. The story and strong characters was what carried it through to me and I had fun watching. It had highs and lows, lefts and a rights and overall gains a solid 8.5/10 in my books.
Heck, this is the type of stuff I won’t mind re-watching once in a while.
The OP and ED themes for this series are also pretty good and at one point I was just crazy over the ED.